This tale of sadness all started when my husband and I started finally cleaning out our storage unit from the life we had before. We had stored pretty much the entire first decade of our marriage in that thing. It started innocently enough, the box of 80’s and 90’s porn my uncle had given me as my “dowry”, a box of bongs and other apparatuses, graphic novels and other kid stuff that shows how we have equally remained emotionally stunted. If it is wrong to have a Curious George sticker book that I bought at twenty-two, then I don’t want to be right. Life had reared its ugly head so for nearly five years our memories had sat there, slowly being forgotten as parenthood occupied our every waking moment.
So, let’s preface this with I used to be a Shift manager at Blockbuster, the long past relevant repository of physical media, stale candy, and arcane late fees.
I took the job because it felt swanky compared to my first gig working at Blockbuster’s deformed and microwaved rival, Hollywood Video. That ship was sinking fast by 2007 so like a rat on the Titanic I found shelter under that big blue movie ticket. A logo I still find confusing since ticket stubs should only apply to theaters, like if McDonald’s logo was a hot dog. The job was fun while it lasted but even at the time we knew it wouldn’t last. Stores had already started closing all around town leaving the clerks of the country lost and broken. In order to prepare for our end, we were given an assignment to destroy a bunch of discs that nobody rented and throw them in the dumpster.
There was no way that my hoarder instincts could ever let a goldmine like that slip away. Every week they would have me destroy more and every week I felt like I was doing the world a favor by keeping the movies everyone else wanted to forget or sweep under the rug like they never happened. I briefly wondered if Rick would have a problem with grabbing random DVDs for no really good reason. But then I remembered that he once brought home an AMP energy drink fridge from his video store and figured this was slightly less insane.
I can still remember the looks on my husband’s roommates faces when I brought home the box. “Hey check out these movies I stole..er um.. Liberated from the trash!” Rick was pretty excited at the idea of a grab bag full of free movies, that was until we actually looked at them. Like Dr. Hammond in Jurassic Park, I was so excited by the ability to salvage these movies, it didn’t hit me about whether I should. I had only taken a glance at many of them before throwing them in a garbage bag so I really did not know what I had actually taken. Since we were usually too busy being disgusting garbage people, we put off parsing out our bounty and let them sit in a trash bag next to my original Lion King stuffed animals and Rick’s awful, AWFUL record collection. For a guy who claims to have decent taste, his Hall and Oates albums beg to differ.
Anyway, we had decided to stop paying for the unit which meant a week of spring cleaning and hard decisions as we dumped long forgotten parts of ourselves. Despite getting rid of a bunch of memories like no big deal, throwing away the mystery bag felt somehow…wrong. It felt like such a waste to have held on to these movies for so long only to take them to their original destination. So after safely finding a home for all the porno, we decided to finally see if there were any hidden gems among the DVDs we still had. We brought movies home, got a couple drinks, reached in the shit-sack and watched the first few movies we laid our hands on.
Little knowing what a terrible, terrible mistake that was going to turn into…
1) The Record Deal
The first thing we pulled out was The Record Deal, an indie movie from 2005. I am positive no one actually rented this movie when it was on the shelf, and the disc itself was spotless, meaning this had been unopened for well over 13 years. Doing some basic research while the thing loaded we saw that user rating on IMDB rates it at 2 and a half stars and has no user reviews, so we knew that we weren’t going to be seeing some lost classic. But once we got about 10 minutes in, it became clear that this was a terrible mistake. This thing was bad. Like why did I take this crap bad. But at this point we had simply come too far to not give it one last shot before we throw it in the garbage, 10+ years after I was supposed to. We refilled our booze cups and pressed on.
This movie is terrible.
OMG why. Is this on purpose? How can this have been a rentable movie? After watching this I do not have high hopes of any of the other movies in my box. This movie is like fundamentally confusing. If I hadn’t read the back of the DVD, I wouldn’t have known what the hell I was watching. Basically, it’s all talking/fighting, conversations that are supposed to serve a greater purpose. I’m sure when writing the script talking about how cartoons eat all the time and never “piss or shit” seemed like a super deep thought. But it definitely is not, and that thought also definitely does not need a call back at the end of the movie.
Of course, we’re also talking about a movie where in a scene where there is an epic rap off, the main character rhymes the word semen with… you guessed it, semen. This whole thing is supposed to be about a rap artist that is trapped in a contract with his producer. The producer gets away with not paying him and there’s a side plot with cocaine and owing money to the Russians? Which by the way the one white guy in this movie acting Russian is basically a clone copy of that guy in Hey Arnold that always says “Hey Arnold, where’s my money?”
At one point the movie doesn’t know whether or not to be night vision mode or regular film. Which makes it feel like the scene where they get stuck in a safe room lasts literal days and nights. It felt like it took about a million years to watch this, which is so bad for a movie that is only an hour and a half. The good news for you is that you can watch it for FREE if you have Amazon Prime! Isn’t that exciting?
The second move we popped in was slightly better? I say it that way because at this point in the night it’s hard to gauge whether or not it actually was better, or if my standards of what a movie is supposed to look like because of the first shit film.
So, 6:30, aye? This story is supposed to be a powerful message about how this kid Morgan’s life was changed from perfect to a giant shit storm by the end of the day. Within the first fifteen minutes, I was genuinely confused. He says “It’s the last day of summer” and then he goes to school and decides to skip. I get that there is such a thing as summer school but the parents mention that his sister needs to wake up for school as well. Are they both delinquents? Is this supposed to be set in a time where school lasts all year long? What is going on? Also, to note my favorite quote of the movie thus far is “I bet she threw up when she smelled your balls”. This was like watching a time portal of what high school was like in the mid 2000’s for roughly twenty minutes and then be (painfully) dragged along for another full hour.
Things of note in this flick: skin-heads, altercations, transphobia, drug use, a Tijuana party scene. The only kind of a neat scene here was one that was obviously a tribute to the movie Clerks. It’s shot in a convenience store with people just shooting the shit. But other than that, nah.
3) Sinful with Misty Mundane
Next up: Sinful with Misty Mundae! I’m excited at the prospect of boobs because we all know she is a porn star name. In fact, I will be very disappointed if there aren’t boobies, which will really drive home that “mundane” part.
Starts with a bang. No literally starts with her on top of some dude screaming “F* me!!!” Oh, what luck, a naked lady at ninety seconds in! I have to say already we are enjoying this movie more than both the others.
At this point, we are more than a little drunk and watching something that was at least partly interesting felt like an oasis. An oasis of naked goth girls made it even better It’s been a loooong night of terrible movies. The first ten minutes is really all we needed to make it all seem worth it. It’s just sex! It has everything I want from a movie. It’s got boobs and…..uhhhh….more boobs! And well, that’s about it as far as my alcohol soaked brain could remember.
Things were going great until our kid barged in the room after feeling ignored, and we cried into our drinks. So, after putting our…stuff…away, we had to change the movie to something less sleazy.
Enter Charlie Sheen….
4) Good Advice
And now….Good Advice…or, as we’re going to call this supposed excuse for entertainment… TOXIC MASCULINITY: THE MOVIE!!!
The premise: Charlie Sheen does a business. Fails at business. Girlfriend who is obsessed with status, and is a horrible person (played by his wife at the time Denise Richards), leaves him for a millionaire. In doing so she abandons her job as a columnist. This is where we get the movie title from. Charlie is compelled to keep writing her articles for her. Because lest we forget this was a time that apparently anyone could cash your personal check from your company. Or at least Charlie can because you know he’s a smooth-talking man.
This movie has so much misogyny it makes you want to throw up a little in your mouth. Whether they are talking about men leaving women because their ass was too fat or talking about men leaving women because their ass was too fat there is just no relief. Even the editor at the newspaper who you think would be some degree of sane couldn’t help but make sex eyes at Charlie.
ANYWAY… we could not make it through this movie. We tried and I am so sorry we failed you but for our own mental health we just couldn’t. I think we both checked out around the time he takes the Editor of the paper out on a date to a place she wanted to go to. A performance artist where the man puts paint up his butt and farts it out onto a canvas. And shocker! Charlie gets ass paint squirted on his face.
So, to save what we have left of our marriage by the end of the night we had to stop.
Already in a drunken stupor with little or no desire left for each other now, we both retired to bed clinging to opposite sides of the mattress in order to process the complete horror we just put ourselves through. I’m sure for anyone who were to look upon us it would have been like watching someone in shock who had just been in a horrific traffic accident.